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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  July 14, 2009 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT

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good afternoon. i'm tamron hall. it is 3:00 p.m. >> good afternoon, i'm david shuster, live in washington. we are continuing, of course, our coverage of the judge
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sotomayor confirmation hearings. based on what we've seen so far, it would seem to be the case, all republicans have tried to draw some blood. there have been no major game changes that would seem to change the course of this nomination. >> right, david. we heard senator graham say to judge sotomayor, barring a meltdown, she would be confirmed. it certainly seems that's what we're seeing. chris matthews did something interesting. he went through the list of those republicans on the senate judiciary committee and now it's about which renss will choose to vote against her, the perception being to appeal to their base. >> absolutely. the politics of this is it's so fascinating, even if it does seem sotomayor would be headed toward confirmation. let's get an inside look. joining us now is minnesota's senior senator, amy klobuchar. you picking up anything in the cloak room or your side
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conversations away from the cameras that suggest that senator sotomayor is facing any sort of major trouble? >> hi, david, hi, tamron. no. i think she's been very solid today. you just never know for many people out there how someone's going to do when they're under the glare of those lights, being asked repeated questions. i think it was senator feinstein who said this is the best test of someone's temperament when they're poked at with questions. as senator graham noted, unless there was a meltdown, judge sotomayor is going to do well here. there's clearly not a meltdown. she's really been careful in her words. but very solid in how she answered the questions. s the command of the facts of cases, shows the command of the law. i think it's been impressive morning so far. and in the early afternoon here. >> what are you picking up if anything from some of your republican colleagues? are they saying anything to that extent, sort of away from the cameras, acknowledging how this seems to be going?
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>> they're only part way through their questions. i think it will be interesting to see senator graham question the judge because he has seemed the most open to supporting her, while did he signify he did have significant disagreements with her in many different areas. did he say that when you look at her record carefully, she doesn't look to be someone who's cause driven. which is really similar to what she has been saying that she looks at the facts, looks at the law and decides the case. i think it will be interesting to hear from him. i would agree with some of chris' analysis that there are people, republicans out there that are open. i would predict she will pick up republican support. in history when you go back, there's been bipartisan support for manufacture our supreme court nominees with the acknowledgement that when a president gets elected and picks a nominee that's qualified for the job, there tends to be people that support them. not everyone, people are going to have differences with judges, i think it's going to be interesting to see here. she is very solid. i don't look at it all as
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politics. i look at it as how they've related to her. if they think she's a very smart, if she has the skills, if she's able to do the jobs, she's appeared before this senate before for two different jobs and been confirmed. those are factors in her favor. >> senator, you are one of two women who sit on the senate judiciary committee. we heard her questioning about abortion, some of the rulings she's made. what has been the big moment, the moment that sends home who this woman is and separates her from the comments of wise latina? >> i think the moment was yesterday when she sat there with her mother behind her who raised her on her own when her father died when she was 9 years old. she acknowledged her mother and went on to talk about her own life and what she believed. when she talked about how she viewed the law, the fidelity to the law. i think that's what will stick in people's minds. whether you look at roe v. wade
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or the questions she's been asked about the second amendment or other things. she's been clear that she sticks to precedent. she uses words like the law is well settled, to show her respect for that pless dent, i think you see that running through her 17-year judicial career, longer than any other nominee that's been before this committee for 100 years. >> senator, amy klobuchar, thanks for taking time out today to join us. >> thank you. >> we appreciate it. >> good to be here. >> for all of you have have been watching the coverage of the day, you may have noticed 40 minutes or so ago, hearings were interrupted by a protester. he's been identified as joseph landry of virginia. he has been arrested charged with unlawful conduct, disruption of congress. he's currently being processed. we have -- here's the video. watch. >> we will stand in order. >> defend the babies! >> we will stand in order. officers will remove that man.
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you know -- and they did. and they did. >> there have been it's not unusual to have protests on capitol hill but they are drawing something of a distinction between people who shout something and leave willingly and, of course, the protesters like that man, joseph landry, who had to be forcibly removed. is he being charged. in the midst of all of this, of course, tamron, the hearings continue. why don't we go back. this is the questioning from senator jon kyl, republican of arizona. let's listen. >> i want to answer precisely but i'm not quite sure -- >> you agreed with me if the court considered either the 7th or 9th circuit or both, decisions and decided the issue of incorporation of the second amendment to make it applicable to the states you would consider that binding precedent of the court. that, of course, was the issue in maloney. as a result, since it's the same matter that you resolved in
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maloney, wouldn't you have to in order to comply with the statute recuse yourself if either or both or all three of those cases came to the court? >> senator, as i indicated clearly the statute would reach maloney. how i would respond to the court taki takinger er i-- in one or all i have to to wait to see what the court decides to do and what issues it addresses. there's also the point that whatever comes before the court will be on the basis of a particular state statute which might involve other questions. it's hard to speak about recusal in the abstract because there's so many different questions that one has to look at. >> and do i appreciate that. and i appreciate that you should
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not commit yourself to a particular decision in a case. if the issue is the same, however, it's simply the question of incorporation. that is a very specific question of law. it doesn't depend upon the facts. it didn't matter in your case that you were dealing with a very dangerous arm but not a firearm, for example. you still considered the question of incorporation. let me just try to help you along here. both justice roberts and justice alito made firm commitments to this committee. let me tell you what justice roberts said, he would recuse himself from matters which he participated while a judge on the court of appeals matters. and since you did acknowledge that the incorporation decision was the issue in your decision -- in your second circuit case, and the question that i asked was whether if that is the issue from the ninth and
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seventh circuits, you would consider yourself bound by that, it would seem to me that you should be willing to make the same kind of commitment that justice roberts and justice alito did. >> i didn't understand their commitment to be broader than what i have just said, which is that they would certainly recuse themselves from any matter, i understood it to mean any case they had been involved in as a circuit judge. if their practice was to recuse themselves more broadly, then obviously i would take counsel from what they did. but i believe, if my memory is serving me correctly, and it may not be but i think so, that justice alito as a supreme court justice has heard issues that were similar to ones that he considered as a circuit court judge.
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i will take counsel from the practices are with the broader question. >> i appreciate that. issues which are similar is different from an issue which is the same. i would suggest that there would be an appearance of impropriety. if you've already decided the issue of incorporation one way, that's the same issue that comes before the court and then you in effect review your own decision. that to me would be a matter of inappropriate and perhaps you would recuse yourself. i understand your answer. let me ask you about what the president said. i talked about in my opening statement whether you agree with him. he used two different analogies. he talked once about the 25 miles -- first 25 miles of a 26-mile marathon and then he said in 95% of the cases the law will give you the answer and the
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last 5% legal process will not lead you to the legal decision. the critical agreement is supplied by what is in the judge's heart. do you agree that the law only takes you the first 25 miles of the marathon and the last mile has to be decided by what's in the judge's heart? >> no, sir. i don't -- wouldn't approach the issue of judging in the way the president does. he has to explain what he meant by judging. i can only explain what i think judges should do. which is judges can't rely on what's in their heart. they don't determine the law. congress makes the laws. the job of a judge is to apply the law. and so it's not the heart that compels conclusions in cases, it's the law. the judge applies the law to the
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facts of the case before that judge. >> appreciate that. has it been your experience that every case, no matter how tenuous it's been, every lawyer, no matter how good their quality of advocacy, that in every case, every lawyer has had a legal argument of some quality to make? some precedent that he cited, might not be the supreme court, might not be the court after pales. might be a trial court somewhere. might not even be a court precedent that may be on a law review article or something. have you ever been in a situation where a lawyer has said i don't have any legal argument to make, judge, please go with your heart on this or your gut? >> well, i've actually had lawyers say something very similar to that. i've had lawyers where questions have been raised about the legal basis of their argument. i had one lawyer put up his
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hands and say, but it's just not right. but it's just not right is what judges consider. what judges consider is what the law says. >> you've always been able to find a legal basis for every decision that you've rendered as a judge. >> well, to the extent that every legal decision has -- it's what i do in approaching legal questions, i look at the law that's being cited. i look at how precedent informs it. i try to determine what the principles are of precedent to apply to the facts in the case before me. and then do that. and so that is a process. you use -- >> right. this is not a trick question. >> no, i wasn't --
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>> i can't imagine the answer would be otherwise, yes, you've always found some other basis for ruling one way or the other. some precedent, reading of a statute, the constitution or whatever it might be. you've never ho to throw up your arms and say i can't find a legal basis for this opinion so i'm going to base it on some other factor. >> when you say the words some legal basis, it suggests that a judge is coming to the process by saying, i think the result should be here. >> no, no. >> so i'm going to use something to get there. >> i'm not trying to infer that any of your decisions have been incorrect or that you've used an inappropriate basis. i'm simply confirming what you first said in response to my question about the president, that in every case, the judge is able to find a basis in law for deciding the case.
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sometimes there aren't cases directly on point, that's true. sometimes there may not be a case from your circuit. sometimes it may be somewhat tenuous. and you may have to rely upon authority like scholarly opinions and law reviews or whatever. my question was simple to you. have you always been able to have a legal basis for the decisions you have rendered and not have to rely upon extra legal concept such as empathy or some other concept other than a legal interpretation or precedent? >> exactly, sir. we apply law to facts. we don't apply feelings to facts. >> right. now -- thank you for that. let me go back to the beginning. i raise this issue about the president's interpretation because he clearly is going to seek -- >> judge sonia sotomayor not getting ruffled there by a set
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of questions by jon kyl. she's maintained that demeanor. >> yes. we'll go to a break. david and i will be back with more of the confirmation hearing of judge sotomayor. so many arthritis pain relievers -- i just want fewer pills and relief that lasts all day. take 2 extra strength tylenol every 4 to 6 hours?!? taking 8 pills a day... and if i take it for 10 days -- that's 80 pills. just 2 aleve can last all day. perfect. choose aleve and you can be taking four times... fewer pills than extra strength tylenol. just 2 aleve have the strength to relieve arthritis pain all day.
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welcome back to msnbc. place for politics, where we continue to follow the confirmation hearing of judge sotomayor. it's been an interesting morning, the judge taking many questions, obviously. people are keeping a close eye on republicans, their line of questioning and which republicans perhaps will vote for this confirm's and certainly the list that will vote against her confirmation. >> tamron, as you pointed out, one of the key lines of
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questioning was about a speech she gave about a wise latina woman. she stepped back, perhaps showed contrition. we are hearing jon kyl trying to go at this issue in a slightly different way. he's talking about cases involving ethnicity, gender and race. trying to get sotomayor on the record on some of this. let's listen. >> you said as recognized by legal scholars, whatever the cause is, not one woman or person of color in any one position but as a trup we will have an effect on the development of law and on judging. so you developed the theme, you substantiated it with some evidence to substantiate your point of view. up to that point you had simply made the case, i think, that judging could certainly reach -- judges could certainly reach different results and make a difference in judging depending upon their gender or ethnicity. you hadn't rendered a judgment
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about whether they would be better judgments or not. but then you did. you quoted justice o'connor to say that a wise old woman, wise old man would reach the same decisions. you said i'm not sure i agree with that statement. that's when you made the statement that's not relatively famous, i would hope that a wise latina woman would more often than not reach a better conclusion. here you're reaching a judgment that not only will it make a difference but that it should make a difference. you went on, this is the last thing i'll quote, in short -- well, i think this is important. you note some of the old white guys made pretty good decisions, holme holmes, cardoza and others. then you concluded this, in short, i accept the proposition that difference will be made by the presence of women and people of color on the bench and that
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my experiences will affect the facts that i choose to see. you said i don't know exactly what the difference will be in my judging but i accept that there will be some based on gender in my latina heritage. you don't, as you said in your response to senator sessions, you said you weren't encouraging that. and you talked about how we need to set that aside. you didn't in your speech say that this is not good. we need to set this aside. instead you seem to be celebrating it. the clear inference is it's a good thing that this is happening. so that's why some of us are concerned, first with the president's aluisization of his speeches, several of them, including speeches that are included in articles that you edited that all say the same thing. it would certainly lead one to a conclusion that "a," you understand it will mack a
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difference and "b" not only are you not seeing anything about that but you seem to be embrace that difference, in concluding that you'll make better decisions. that's the basis of concern that a lot of people have. please take the time you need to respond to my question. >> thank you. i have a record for 17 years. decision after decision, decision after decision, it is very clear that i don't base my judgments on my personal experiences or my feelings or my biases. all of my decisions show my respect for the rule of law, the fact that regardless about if i identify a feeling about a case, which is what of part of that speech did talk about, there are swayings where one has reactions to speeches, to activities.
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it's not surprising that in some cases the loss of a victim is very tragic. a judge feels with those situations in acknowledging that there is a hardship to someone doesn't mean that the law commands the result. i have any number of cases where i have acknowledged the particular difficulty to a party or disapproval of a party's actions and said, no, but the law requires this. my views, i think, are demonstrated by what i do as a judge. i'm grateful that you took notice that much of my speech, if not all of it, was intended to inspire. and my whole message to those students, that's the very ends of what i said to them, was i hope i see you in the courtroom someday. i don't know if i said it in
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that speech, i often end my speeches with saying, i hope someday you're sitting on the bench with me. and so the intent of the speech, its structure, was to inspire them to believe, as i do, as i think everyone does, that life experiences enrich the legal system. i use the words process of judging, that experience that you look for in choosing a judge, whether it's the aba rule that says the judge has to be a lawyer for "x" number of years or it's the experience that your committee looks for in terms of what's the background of the judge, have they undertaken serious consideration of constitutional questions? all of those experiences are valued because our system is enriched by a variety of experiences. and i don't think that anybody
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quarrels with the fact that diversity on the bench is good for america. it's good for america because we are the land of opportunity. and to the extent that we're pursuing and showing that all groups can be lawyers and judges, that's just reflecting the values of our society. >> if i could interrupt you right now. to me, that's the key. it's good because it shows these young people that you're talking to that with a little hard work, it doesn't matter where you came from, you can make it. that's why you hope to see them on the bench. i totally appreciate that. the question, though, is whether you leave them with the impression that it's good to make different decisions because of their ethnicity or gender. it strikes me that you could have easily said, blind lady justice doesn't permit us to base decisions and cases on our ethnicity or gender.
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we should strive very hard to set those aside when we can. i found one oblique reference in your speech that can be said you warned against that. all of the other statements seem to embrace it or certainly to recognize it and almost seem that you're powerless to do anything about it. i accept this will happen, you said. while i appreciate what you're saying, it still doesn't answer to me whether you think ethnicity or gender should be making a difference. >> i -- there are two different issues, i believe, to address and to look at. various statements are being looked at and being tied together. but the speeches as it's structured didn't intend to do that and didn't do that. much of the speech about what differences there will be in judging was in the context of my
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saying or addressing an academic question. all the studies that you reference, i cited in my speech. they were suggesting that there could be a difference. they were raising reasons why. i was inviting the students to think about that question. most of the quotes that you had and referenced say that. we have to ask this question, does it make a difference? and if it does, how? and the study about differences in outcomes was in that context. there was a case in which three women judges went one way and two men went the other. i didn't suggest that was driven by their gender. you can't make that judgment until you see what the law actually said. i wasn't talking about what law they were interpreting in that
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case. i was just talking about the academic question that one should ask. >> if i can just interrupt. i think you contradicted your speech. you said in the line before that, enough women and people of color in enough cases will make a difference in the process of judging. next comment. the minnesota supreme court has given us an example of that. so you did cite that as an example of gender making a difference in judging. look, i'm not -- i don't want to be misunderstood here as disagreeing with a general look into the question of whether people's gender, ethnicity or background in some way affects their judging. i suspect you can make a very good case that that is true in some cases. you cite a case for that proposition, neither you nor i probably know for sure whether that was for sure. i'm not questioning whether the studies are not valuable.
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in fact i would agree with you it's important for us to be able to know these things so we are on guard to set aside prejudices that we may not even know we have. when you do judge a case -- let me just go back in time. i tried a lot of cases. and it always depended on the luck of the draw, what judge you got. 99 times out of 100 it didn't matter. so we got judge jones, fine, judge smythe, fine. it didn't matter. you knew they would all apply the law. in federal court in arizona there was one judge you didn't want to get. everybody knew that. it is a good thing to examine whether or not those biases and prejudices exist in order to be on guard and to set them aside. the fault i have with your speech is that you not only don't let these students know
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that you need to set it aside, you don't say that's what you need this information for but you almost celebrate it. if there are enough of us, we will make a difference, inferring that it is a good thing if we begin deciding cases differently. let me ask you one last question here. have you ever seen a case where, to use your example, the wise latina made a better decision than the nonlatina judges? >> no. what i've seen applied -- >> i know you like all of your decisions. i was just saying i know she appreciates her own decisions. i don't mean to denigrate her decisions, mr. chairman. >> i was using a rhetorical that harkined back to justice o'connor. her literal words and mine have
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a meaning that neither of us, if you were looking at it, in their exact words, make any sense. justice o'connor was part of a court in which she greatly respected her colleagues. and yet those wise men, i'm not going to use the other word, and wise women did reach different conclusions in deciding cases. i never understood her to be attempting to say that that meant those people who disagreed with her were unwise or unfair judges. as you know, my speech was intending to inspire the students to understand the richness that their backgrounds could bring to the judicial process in the same way that everybody else's background does the same. i think that's what justice alito was referring to when he was asked questions by this committee and he said, you know,
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when i decide a case, i think about my italian ancestors and their experiences coming to this country. i don't think anybody thought that he was saying that that commanded the result in the case. these were students and lawyers who i don't think would have been misled, either by justice o'connor's statement or mine in thinking that we actually intended to say that we could really make wiser and fairer decisions. i think what they could think and would think is that i was talking about the value that life experiences have in the words i used, to the process of judging. and that is the context in which can i understood the speech to be doing. the words i chose, taking the rhetorical flourish was a bad
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idea. i do understand that there are some who have read this differently and i understand why they might have concern, but i have repeated more than once, and i will repeat throughout, if you look at my history on the bench, you will know that i do not believe that any ethnic, gender or race group has an advantage in sound judging. you noted that my speech actually said that. and i also believe that every person, regardless of their background and life experiences, can be good and wise judges. >> in fact -- >> excuse me, just for the record i don't think it was your speech that said that. that's what you said in response to senator session's question this morning. >> when we get the -- >> there's a telling line of questions from senator jon kyl regarding racial bias and gender bias that may have been
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interpreted from a previous remark from judge sonia sotomayor. she said flat out, obviously, that is not the case. she pointed to former supreme court justice sandra day o'connor, current justice samuel alito who used similar language. for the first time she's saying publicly that maybe her words were a bad choice. she continued also to defend her remarks, saying she was trying to inspire the students she was speaking with at the time. >> so interesting again to hear her try to sort of say, wait a second. as you pointed out, other justices have said something similar. i acknowledge that the rhetorical flourishes may have been a bad idea. she's trying to give leeway here. this comes as we noted that the white house, president obama has been in michigan for about 45 minutes. the spokesman robert gibbs talked to reporters aboard the aircraft. as far as the white house is concerned, they believe this is going very well.
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that sotomayor is doing very well, says robert gibbs. we'll take a quick break. you're watching msnbc's live coverage of the sonia sotomayor hearings. today there's a way to save more for retirement,
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president obama is taking the stage. you can see, there he is at the podium in warren, michigan. the president will be making an announcement about the nation's community colleges which are crucial in the transformation of people who are looking for new training after losing their jobs. when he's done with the thank yous we'll bring that to you live. we'll take a quick break. wur watching msnbc. so i've come to this court to challenge his speed. ...on the internet. i'll be using the 3g at&t laptopconnect card. he won't. so i can book travel plans faster, check my account balances faster. all on the go. i'm bill kurtis and i'm faster than andy roddick.
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president who's speaking at mccomb community college in warren, michigan. he's expected to about the job losses due to the auto industry's problem. he's planning to propose a $12 billion investment in community colleges. let's listen in. >> the economy in particular has been hard hit. the statistics are daunting. the whole country now, the unemployment rate is approaching 10%. here in michigan it's about five points higher. and new jobs reports will be coming out. we'll see continuing job loss, even as the economy is beginning to stabilize. now, that's not just abstractions. those just aren't numbers on a page. those are extraordinary hardships, tough times for families and individuals who worked hard all their lives and have done the right thing. all their lives.
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if you haven't lost a job, chances are you know somebody who has. a family member, a neighbor, a friend, a co-worker. and you know as difficult as the financial struggle can be, the sense of loss is about more than just a paycheck. because most of us define ourselves by the work we do. that's part of what it means to be an american. we take pride in work. it's that sense that you're contributing, supporting your family, meeting your responsibilities. people need work, not just for income, but because it makes you part of that fabric of the community. it's so important. when you lose your job and when entire communities are losing thousands of jobs, that's a heavy burden. that's a heavyweight. my administration has a job to do as well. and that job is to get this
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economy back on its feet. that's my job. and it's a job i gladly accept. i love these folks who helped get us in this mess and suddenly say this is obama's economy. that's fine. give it to me. my job is to solve problems, not to stand on the sidelines and harp and gripe. so i welcome the job. i want the responsibility. and i know that, let's just take an example, many question our efforts to help save gm and chrysler from collapse earlier this year. their feeling was these companies were driven to the brink by poor management decisions over a long period of time and like any business, they
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should be held accountable for those decisions. i agreed. that they should be held accountable. i also recognize the historic significance and economic prominence of these companies in communities all across michigan and all across the country. i've thought about the hundreds of thousands of americans whose livelihoods are still connected to the american auto industry and the impact on an already struggling economy, especially right here in michigan. so i said, that if chrysler and gm were willing to fundamentally restructure their businesses, and make the hard choices necessary to become competitive now and in the future, it was a process worth supporting. now, today after a painful period of soul searching and sacrifice, both gm and chrysler
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have emerged from bankruptcy. remember folks said there's no way they could do it? they've got tonight done already, in record time, far faster than anybody thought possible. they've got a leaner structure, they have new management and a viable vision of how to compete and win in the 21st century. those sacrifices were shared among all the stake holers, workers and management, creditors and shareholders, retirees and communities. together they've made the rebirth of chrysler and gm possible. it was the right thing to do. but even with this positive news, the hard truth is, is that some of the jobs lost in the auto industry and elsewhere won't be coming back. they're the casualties of a changing economy. in some cases, increased productivity in the plants themselves means that some jobs aren't going to return. that only underscores the importance of generating new
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businesses and new industries to replace the ones we've lost. and of preparing our workers to fill the jobs they create. for even before this recession hit, we were faced with an economy that was simply not creating or sustaining enough new well-paying jobs. now is the time to change all that. what we face is far more than a passing crisis. this is a transformative moment. and in this moment, we must do what other generations have done. it's not the time to shrink from the challenges we face and put off tough decisions, that's what washington has done for decades. and it's exactly why i ran for president to change that mindset. now's the time to build a firmer, stronger foundation for growth. that will not only withstand
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future economic storms but that will help us thrive and compete in a global economy. to build that foundation we have to slow the growth of health care costs that are driving us into debt. we're going to have to do that. there's going to be a major debate over the next three weeks. don't be fooled by folks trying to zar yscare you saying we can change the health care system. we have no choice but to change the health care system because right now it's broken for too many americans. we're going to have to make tough choices necessary to bring down deficits, but don't let folks fool you. the best way to start bringing down deficits is to get control of our health care costs, which is why we need reform. now's the time to create the jobs of the future.
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by growing industries, including a new clean energy economy jennifer granholm has been all on top of this. as the governor of michigan she's bringing clean energy jobs right here to michigan and we've got to support her in that effort. i want michigan to build windmills and wind turbines and solar panels and biofuel plants and energy efficient lightbulbs and weatherized product because, michigan, you know bad weather, so you can be all on top of weatherizing. you need to weatherize. i know about that in chicago, too. but we also have to ensure that we're educating and preparing
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our people for the new jobs of the 21st century. we've got to prepare our people with the skills they need to compete in this global economy. time and again when we've placed our bet for the future on education, we have prospered as a result by tapping the incredible innovative and generative potential of a skilled american workforce. what's happened when president lincoln signed in law legislation creating the land grant colleges. that's what took place when president roosevelt signed the gi bill, which helped educate a generation and ushered in an era of prosperity. that was the foundation for the american middle class, and that's why at the start of my administration i set a goal for
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america. by 2020 this nation will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. we used to have that. we're going to have it again. and we've begun to take historic steps to achieve this goal. already we've increased pell grants by $500. we've created a $2,500 tax credit for four years of college tuition. we've simplified student aid applications and ensured that aid is not based on the income of a job that you just lost. a new gi bill of rights for the 21st century is beginning to help soldiers coming home from iraq and afghanistan to begin a new life in a new economy, and
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the recovery plan has helped close state budget shortfalls which put enormous pressure on public universities and community colleges. >> we are watching president obama in warren, michigan. he's at mccomb community college talking about the economy. i'm here with my co-worker, colleague, and friend david shuster. david, we're listening to the president say, you know, many critics call this the obama economy or the obama problem, but he again reminded the audience in michigan hit very hard by this recession and unemployment numbers that this is something he inherited. >> that's right and the constant refrain of the white house trying to say they inherited such a big mess. the president trying to go on the offense as we heard saying these bankruptcies with general motors, they happened a lot faster. they are out of bankruptcy. there's progress that's been made. the president trying to hit back a little bit against those who are the naysayers of some of his policies. as we watch president obama,
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we'll keep track of that for any news. we are also keeping track of the sotomayor confirmation hearings. chuck schumer, we will pick up with his questioning on the other side of this break. you're watching msnbc. wellbeing. we're all striving for it. purina cat chow helps you nurture it in your cat with a full family of excellent nutrition and helpful resources. purina cat chow. share a better life. car insurance company in the nation. but, it's not like we're kicking back, now, havin' a cuppa tea. gecko vo: takes lots of sweat to become that big. gecko vo: 'course, geckos don't literally sweat... it's just not our thing... gecko vo: ...but i do work hard, mind you.
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waterboarding back >> welcome back. i'm tamron hall in new york. >> i'm david shuster. we're continuing to follow the sonia sotomayor confirmation hearings. we're watching senator chuck schumer talking about that issue of empathy, something that has come up repeatedly in this hearing. >> it certainly has. that and the line of questions we just saw from senator kyl regarding racial bias or gender bias. let's listen in to the confirmation hearing as it has resumed. >> and many of them were poor


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